From Cheers to Hollywood Star: The Evolution of Woody Harrelson

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This article delves into the life and career of actor, writer, and director Woody Harrelson. It traces his humble beginnings in Texas to his rise to fame in Hollywood, including his breakout role in the television series "Cheers," and notable performances

Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning actor Woodrow Tracy Harrelson was born on July 23, 1961 in Midland, Texas, to Diane Lou (Oswald) andCharles Harrelson. He grew up in Lebanon, Ohio, where his mother was from. After receiving degrees in theater arts and English from Hanover College, he had a brief stint in New York theater. He was soon cast as Woody on TV seriesZdrwko! (1982), which wound up being one of the most-popular TV shows ever and also earned Harrelson an Emmy for his performance in 1989.

While he dabbled in film during his time onZdrwko! (1982), that area of his career didn't fully take off until towards the end of the show's run. In 1991,Doktor Hollywood (1991)gave him his first widely-seen movie role, and he followed that up withBiali nie potrafią skakać (1992),Niemoralna propozycja (1993)andUrodzeni mordercy (1994). More recently, Harrelson was seen inTo nie jest kraj dla starych ludzi (2007),Zombieland (2009),2012 (2009), andTo tylko seks (2011), along with the acclaimed HBO movieZmiana w grze (2012).

In 2011, Harrelson snagged the coveted role of fan-favorite drunk Haymitch Abernathy in the big-screen adaptation ofIgrzyska śmierci (2012), which ended up being one of the highest-grossing movies ever at the domestic box office. Harrelson is set to reprise that role for the sequels, which are scheduled for release in November 2013, 2014 and 2015. Harrelson has received two Academy Award nominations, first for his role as controversial Hustler founderLarry FlyntinSkandalista Larry Flynt (1996)and then for a role inW imieniu armii (2009). He also received Golden Globe nominations for both of these parts. In 2016, he had a stand-out role as a wise teacher in the teen dramaGorzka siedemnastka (2016).

Harrelson was briefly married toNancy Simonin the 80s, and later married his former assistant, Laura Louie, with whom he has three daughters.